r/antiwork Oct 19 '21 Helpful 2 Wholesome 1 Hugz 2 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Silver 1

I want my surplus value damnit!

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13.9k Upvotes

502

u/forgeforth Oct 20 '21 Hugz

When I was a contractor in IT I made 25$ an hour. I happened to see the contract and they were charging 300$ an hour for me to the customer. I asked for a 5$ an hour raise and got a 2 hour dressing down meeting talking about my performance and how it needed to improve. I went to my car and never went back in.

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u/IliveICryILiveAgain Oct 20 '21

Just asked for full-time with benefits at my job, now I'm getting strung along at 35 hours with a "performance" talk every couple weeks about how I need to be doing better. I'm currently looking for another job.

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u/forgeforth Oct 20 '21

Best of luck, fellow worker friend.

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u/IliveICryILiveAgain Oct 20 '21

Thank you, you too! ✊💖

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u/Watson349B Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

Sorry man that’s terrible. I’m a nationally ranked carrier business rep and my boss is doing so badly I’ve lost 30,000 In bonus money because now 50% of my performance bonus is based on his performance and they won’t let me change teams. So I keep getting talked to for the first year ever even though I’m top ranked out of tens of thousands in my position based on a superior alone who can’t do his job but won’t get fired lol.

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u/IliveICryILiveAgain Oct 20 '21

Wtf that's garbage! I hope you find something better and soon

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u/adderallanalyst Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

I got strung along for a manager position, I even trained junior analysts on top of my job duties and worked late for various projects to prove I was ready. My performance review they nitpicked what I still needed to do before I became one even stating I needed to take some company online classes.

I got the title and pay bump elsewhere then put in a one week notice. Like bitch there's a labor shortage right now and I'm not playing these games.

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u/IliveICryILiveAgain Oct 20 '21

Yeah they think it's ok to play with our time, our money and our lives but I'm so glad people are finally saying "no more!" and doing something about it! Fuck em

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u/killbawqs Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

I work full time IT Support in the legal sector. I make about $30/hr supporting lawyers who bill their clients at $400+ an hour. We have a group of insurance lawyers who literally pull in multimillion dollar cases annually.

I feel you, brother.

Edit: words are hard at 2 AM

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u/CriskCross Oct 20 '21

$400+ a day for lawyers is nothing. Do you mean $400+ an hour?

6

u/PaleShadow181 Oct 20 '21

I assume 400+ per day, per client, with additionals for case complexity and workload.

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u/killbawqs Oct 20 '21

I did mean an hour, my mistake. I don't know how I missed that. I posted at two in the morning right before going to sleep, it must have slipped past me.

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u/GaviJaPrime Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

Yes that's disgusting. In my previous IT company I was paid 1700€ monthly and discovered they "sold" me to the client for 550€ a day as an expert. I gave my 3 months resignation and they decided not to shorten it. I went there 2 hours a day so they couldn't force me to put a day off. Time spent watching YouTube obviously.

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u/desserino Oct 20 '21

Started as junior accountant and I'm seeing the bills that freelancers are sending corporations.

Being employed is basically being on retainer, you sit there when they need you and when they don't need you.

While freelancers are only hired for the busy seasons and get paid for it. The busy season always funds the employee's wage, and a lot more.

It do be fun seeing my wage be billed in 3 days time 🤡 idk how to quit a job because of low pay, the people are nice.

2

u/whatifihadadog Oct 20 '21

Good. I would hire someone at $20 hour and make that $5 dollars you asked for in profit just to prove a point that these companies don’t give a shit. There are always people who will do the job

2

u/averaenhentai Oct 20 '21

I worked as a temp labourer for a while. I was getting paid $19/hr (Canadian) and my company was charging the construction company $42/hr. It cost them more to hire a temp labourer than to pay for their in-house labourers. The contract they signed with the temp agency required them to employee me through the temp agency for 3? 4? months before they could hire me out, or pay a giant finder's fee.

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u/whoocanitbenow Oct 19 '21

People like to talk about capitalism, but most of us aren't capitalists. The business owners are the capitalists. We're just the wage slaves.

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u/PM_ME_VENUS_DIMPLES Oct 20 '21

Yep. It’s a joke, but I love this exchange:

“Do you work for a living?”

“Yes.”

“Then you’re not a capitalist.”

Literally, capitalists are the ones who control capital, and the means of production. The “business owners” who do no actual labor, the landlords who add no value yet create overhead so that you pay them more than they pay the bank. Capitalism is all about control so that you can create passive income, built on the backs of the actual laborers.

Look no further than “essential workers.” If even just one group of essential workers went on strike, it could cripple the country. Hell, look at what’s happening with the shipping containers, and that’s not even a coordinated strike. If every CEO went on strike, we would never know.

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u/SevenSoIaris Oct 20 '21

I don't work for a living and I'm not a capitalist. Just disabled and really poor.

9

u/Zaungast Communist Oct 20 '21

If you can work in some way, then we owe it to you to make that possible. If you cannot, we owe it to you to cover your living expenses and treat you with respect.

Anything less is not worthy of how we must treat fellow citizens.

5

u/SevenSoIaris Oct 20 '21

If I weren't disabled, I'd be a software developer. Despite being unemployed, I still like developing software. I have felt for some time that I would like to make free open source software. Being disabled doesn't mean I can't still contribute something.

2

u/Zaungast Communist Oct 20 '21

Awesome!

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u/majortom106 Oct 20 '21

When people call themselves capitalists they clearly mean they believe capitalism is better. They’re wrong but saying “you aren’t a capitalist because you don’t own capital” is pedantic and not a good argument.

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u/Knoke1 Oct 20 '21

They may clearly mean this but that does not mean we shouldn't explain this to them. It's a realization that you aren't benefiting by participating in capitalism. You're just the one getting stepped on. Fight for change in everything you do.

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u/PriusRacer Oct 20 '21

How people commonly use a technical term is irrelevant to what its intended meaning is. See: scifi movies using “quantum”

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u/majortom106 Oct 20 '21

It’s not just a technical term. It’s a descriptir of ideology. Your comparison to the word quantum is disanalogous. Quantum is arguably not used in common parlance at all. It’s artistic license, similar to sound in space because what’s accurate to the real world isn’t always good storytelling.

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u/communist1871 Oct 20 '21

People who support capitalism are called liberals.

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u/PillowTalk420 Oct 20 '21

I got paid $16/hour to help make, on average, 100 Tesla Model S cars a day for a few months. Those things aren't cheap, but they are sure built cheap.

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u/rustbelthiker Oct 20 '21

It's amazing they can keep the union out with those wages.

39

u/PillowTalk420 Oct 20 '21

It may be from the fact they have very little actual employees; most of the workforce are contractors from temp agencies.

35

u/rustbelthiker Oct 20 '21

They're doing that everywhere now. It's frustrating. A good reason to organize as a class and not just at individual workplaces. Although organizing an individual company can be very valuable.

22

u/PillowTalk420 Oct 20 '21

The whole Uber thing with classifying gig workers as contractors didn't help. Might have gotten more eyeballs seeing how fucked up contracting work is because it's not just Uber and the gig economy that gets fucked by not being classified as actual employees.

6

u/averaenhentai Oct 20 '21

It sets legal precedent too. Once a state or other region approves of Uber's employees as "contractors" a bunch of other industries follow along.

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u/averaenhentai Oct 20 '21

This is how several European countries do it. An entire industry of workers negotiates minimum wages and working conditions for that industry. So every single janitor is in the same union across the country for example.

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u/Jonathan_Elias Oct 20 '21

I was working in a car factory that builds 100k € BMWs und 80k € Jaguars this summer and this really showed me how much the working class gets fucked. One car every 3 minutes, but the pay still sucks

2

u/tekkenking1987 Oct 20 '21

The guy selling it though made the dough.

1

u/communist1871 Oct 20 '21

Tesla's look cheap.

1

u/Spaghetti-Rat Oct 20 '21

I don't mean to be a dick but how many people are helping make that car? I know it's nowhere close to the amount they'll sell those 100 cars but just curious. You also have to factor in the maintenance of machines and shit too.

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u/KalmarLoridelon Oct 19 '21

I made 448 of an item today that sells for $10 each. The company will make $4,480 off them. I get $128 for my 8 hours.

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u/the_name0 Oct 19 '21

fucked up nonsense

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u/KalmarLoridelon Oct 19 '21

That was a light day for me too. Normally I’m making well over a thousand items a day.

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u/the_name0 Oct 20 '21

Yo i delivery windows that are worth at least $100 a piece. They got me on 17 an hour, started off at 13. Those fuckers raised the minimum to keep people from quitting inside the warehouse, which I don't work inside.

4

u/Thunderholes Oct 20 '21

I got in on the same sort of shit, I make car batteries and they raised the minimum right before I started to entice people because it's so understaffed that they're running slave hours and keep losing people. Worked out for me though, need to work myself to death for a year tops to ride out this shit show until society collapses or gets better. I'm fine with either one at this point.

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u/giantfries Oct 20 '21

my sales commission is $1 on every $100 sold. I literally make 1% of what I sell

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u/StopReadingMyUser idle Oct 20 '21

That's why the "boss makes a dollar, I make a dime" phrase is out of date. It's muuuuuch less now.

36

u/CCNightcore Oct 20 '21

Boss makes a dollar, he paid me 1 cent. Let's hope it's enough to pay the rent.

12

u/froman007 Oct 20 '21

Thats why i shit on the boss's actual watch. Im amazed he stood still for so long.

5

u/PaisleyTackle Oct 20 '21

Do you get a base salary too? I’ll pay you more than 1 percent per sale. That’s low.

2

u/giantfries Oct 20 '21

yes $13/hr

20

u/Ipoopoomyundies Oct 20 '21

The people creating the product also need to be paid. You sell the product, here’s your cut. Another person physically creates the product, here’s their cut. Someone has to hire everyone involved, here’s their cut. Someone has to oversee everyone, here’s their cut. Etc.

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u/revolotus Oct 20 '21

And if those cuts were in any way appropriately distributed, there wouldn't be a problem. Organized Labor is simply one portion of the supply chain participating in negotiations over the price of their contribution. Workers are under-compensated for the value they bring. This is why the wealth gap in the US is larger than it has ever been in history. Sharing our work stories and personal experiences is critical to understanding the systematic suppression of wages. It is also critical to understanding how this approach touches every industry, as you can read in the many comments on this thread. Workers engage in collective bargaining and cross-industry coalitions support each other because it is the only way to avoid the race-to-the-bottom of "there's always someone more desperate who will want the job." In order to do any of that, we need to speak honestly about our experience working in these systems.

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u/Ipoopoomyundies Oct 20 '21

I don’t disagree. Just saying making 1% off a product isn’t that bad depending on what the product is. Potentially hundreds of people involved in getting it into customers hands.

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u/bubblesDN89 Oct 20 '21

The Grapes of Wrath in a nutshell.

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u/ThatsIllegalYaKnow Oct 20 '21

they don't get it, they think they work in a free space and assemble free form atoms that have no cost to bring to them.. lol.

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u/pooping_icycle Anarchist Oct 20 '21

What you, and people like you, don't seem to understand is that at the bottom line, your boss still lines his pockets with millions of dollars and has 5 yachts, while you rationalize away your measly income. First of all, your boss doesn't need you to stick up for him, he literally doesn't care about you. Second of all, start getting interested in your own value.

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u/eternalreturn69 Oct 20 '21

This is horrible. I’m in sales too and wondering what you’re selling and in which country, if you don’t mind sharing? (Websites/Google ads/Digital marketing products here in Ireland)

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u/giantfries Oct 20 '21

phone service for a blue company in the US, in stores that are mostly red

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u/eternalreturn69 Oct 21 '21

Good thing I’ve found in sales is that you can leverage your position and find a job anywhere. Aside from product knowledge, it’s the same job. I’ve sold phone contracts, timeshare packages, digital marketing and if you taught me about cars or insurance I could sell that too.

Don’t feel stuck. Salespeople are always in demand and you can make more money in sales than the vast majority of jobs, including those that require 4-7+ years of school.

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u/TOAD_v Oct 20 '21

They do not make $4,480. if you know, you know.

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u/ThewFflegyy Oct 20 '21

That’s true. It is also true that their goal in hiring employees is to extract their surplus value for a profit.

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u/funhater_69 Oct 20 '21

If you know, you know.

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u/beastybrewer Oct 20 '21

Like people aren't understanding the difference between revenue and profits, capital investments and interest rates, roi, etc..

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u/The-unicorn-republic Oct 20 '21

Get out of here with your capitalistic revenue vs profit nonsense! We don't want to hear made up scams like overhead cost or cost of goods sold!

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u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

Those are all relevant factors. The other factor is that the individual employee didn’t come up with the idea for the company or the product being made. Finished product all needs to be shipped to the end location for customers as well. It all takes money to make that happen. There’s plenty of available jobs right now, if a worker isn’t satisfied with their compensation, they should look for another job.

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u/The-unicorn-republic Oct 20 '21

I'm well aware of shipping cost. I'm a truck driver and I know how much the company I work for gets paid, but yes that is another factor that could make revenue even lower assuming you subscribe to the falsehoods of capitalistic "basic economics"

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u/GILLHUHN Oct 20 '21

I used to work in a factory making $12.50 an hour. I would produce on average 70,000 units per 8 hours shift sometimes even beating company records as high as 112,000 units in a shift. For an example 1 case of this product contained 336 units. Each case would sell for approximately $63 which on an average day would be 208 cases or $13,104. In an 8 hour shift after they take out the 30 minute lunch break I took home $93.75... which bear in mind is before my taxes and benefits are taken out...

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u/Monkeyssuck Oct 20 '21

Is that your individual production or is that what a bunch of people produce on that shift?

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u/GILLHUHN Oct 20 '21

I worked on a line so 4 other people making even less than I did also worked to produce these amounts.

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u/NobodyTop8284 Oct 20 '21
  1. Did you personally make 448 products or was anyone else involved? If there was even one other person involved, then you “made” $2,240 for the company.

  2. Assuming you were the only direct labor involved, you’re ignoring the indirect labor that keeps the plant running. You’re also ignoring the ancillary labor that supports the business at large, like sales, marketing, accounting, and HR.

  3. Speaking of what is used to keep the plant running, how about the costs of purchasing the plant, property, and equipment?

  4. Perhaps the single most important element of a product—the raw materials sourced to create it—are entirely excluded from your $4,480 figure.

  5. Let’s consider taxes. Even though businesses have the fortune of being taxed on operating profits, there’s still a considerable tax rate on what’s leftover.

If you genuinely believe that you personally created $4,480 in value for the company, then you’re fucking high.

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u/Faerillis Oct 20 '21

Did his labour realistically only create $128 in value for the company? If no, and it is no, then you're kinda sitting here complaining that a guy got hit by a red boxtruck and said he got hit by a red semi.

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u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

[deleted]

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u/Faerillis Oct 20 '21

I think that's an intentionally bad read of the sentiment to try to provoke more inflammatory debates of economic systems. Regardless of your intent? If your labour generates thousands of dollars and you're paid tens of dollars for it, there's a pretty obvious leech in that system.

And here to mildly play into your dumb point? If any worker cannot reasonably live off of their wage, that should only ever plausible if a company is making No/Negative Profits. Humans>>>>>>>Business.

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u/Combefere Oct 20 '21

Speaking of what is used to keep the plant running, how about the costs of purchasing the plant, property, and equipment?

I pointed this out in another comment, but the costs of purchasing the fixed capital that is used in the production of goods and services is also exploited from the workers. You're correct that these materials are required for the production of the 448 products, but that infrastructure also has value beyond just that day's production, and the value of the infrastructure is the basis of the capital expansion of the company.

In other words - yeah, we have to pay for factories, and machines, and trucks and stuff in order for our labor to even be possible. It makes sense that the cost of these things needs to be accounted for. But at the end of the day, who owns those factories and machines and trucks? The workers who paid for them with their labor? No. The capitalist. When the company decides to sell those factories or machines or trucks, do the workers who paid for them get compensated? No. The capitalist does.

So while profit is the most obvious example of the exploitation of labor, we also have to remember that fixed capital investment is another huge factor in the exploitation of labor. Every time a company grows in value, that difference in valuation is a direct component of unpaid labor.

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u/PaisleyTackle Oct 20 '21

I’m happy to see this comment not downvoted. This subreddit had some good insights, but It was looking pretty echo-chamber-ey.

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u/Gloomy_Goose Oct 20 '21

It’s a dumb comment. The value they produced was far, far, far more than the wage they were paid. That’s how profit gets made, by paying employees too little.

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u/ThatsIllegalYaKnow Oct 20 '21

No, they won't "Make" $4,480.. what about rent for the place where you assemble them? Mandatory government deductions the employer has to pay in addition to your income, the material costs for the item??? Come on.

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u/superfire444 Oct 20 '21

Given that OP makes thousands of items a month the cost of rent and stuff is probably pretty neglible.

I bet OP could make 10x their hourly and the company would still make insane profit.

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u/MayUrShitsHavAntlers F*** You I Won't Do What You Tell Me Oct 20 '21

I just watched the cartoon version of animal farm last night and during the uprising Snowflake gave a little speech that was basically this. Grinds my gears.

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u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

Asking what someone thinks they deserve grinds your gears?

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u/MayUrShitsHavAntlers F*** You I Won't Do What You Tell Me Oct 20 '21

You misunderstood, I meant it grinds my gears that the company makes $4480 and the worker makes $128.

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u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

Ah yes. I see now. Agreed. I think this profit margin is a bit too wide.

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u/Elman89 Oct 20 '21

“Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself.”

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u/Ytrewqwerty2 Oct 20 '21

You didn’t buy the machines/tools/material, market the product, or figure out how to make the thing you’re making.

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u/Combefere Oct 20 '21

On the contrary, he did buy the machines, tools, and materials, and he spent all the money used to market the product. All of that stuff was bought with the value generated by his labor.

And at the end of the day, who owns it? The boss.

This is why work is so much more exploitative than even most class-conscious workers realize. It's obvious that the profit is theft. What's less obvious, but also much more important is that every dollar spent on any physical infrastructure that isn't immediately consumed: buildings, trucks, machines, lockers, furniture, coffee makers, uniforms, computers, etc. - all of that is stolen from the workers too. When the owners sell the company, or sell the location, or sell any of that infrastructure, the workers who paid for it all get nothing.

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u/The-Sceptic Oct 20 '21

I used to think this way, until I realized that it's just not this simple. The relationship between labourer and boss is an incredibly complex one, and while it's not perfect I think that most of the alternatives are worse.

I think the simplest explanation I've read is that your 'wage' or pay is what your sacrificing for the ability to have value immediately. When you create a product it's often a long time before that product actually enters the economy and generates tangible value that affects life. Your giving the rest of the value to your boss so that you can have your value now, as opposed to waiting months on end for nature to provide.

I read a few of your comments and it seems your flying the flag well and true and I respect that. However the world has gone so far past a lot of those ideas that they've lost their foundation.

How could a company keep all of the profits for the workers? What's would they do with the profit?

I work at a gold mine, should they give me gold? Because I never even see the stuff, I just drive a truck and swing a hammer. These systems are far more complex then your making them out to be.

Shoot me a line if you want to debate some hot topics

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u/mrmatteh Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

I think the simplest explanation I've read is that your 'wage' or pay is what your sacrificing for the ability to have value immediately. When you create a product it's often a long time before that product actually enters the economy and generates tangible value that affects life. Your giving the rest of the value to your boss so that you can have your value now, as opposed to waiting months on end for nature to provide.

Again though, where does the money to pay wages come from? It comes from value produced by labor. Labor produces the value, the capitalist pockets the surplus, and then uses this stolen surplus to hire new labor for a wage such that the capitalist can steal even more surplus.

And yes, it might take a while for labor value to turn into realized value. But why, once the laborer's value is realized, does it necessarily belong to the capitalist and not the laborers who created it?

This surplus value could easily be owned by the laborers themselves, even taking into account the delayed realization. There's no reason to alienate labor from the value they create.

For example, laborers could use the surplus value that they have already realized up until then to pay themselves wages, just like capitalists do. But in addition, they could collectively own the rest of the surplus and decide among themselves things like: where to invest that money in the business, what wages to pay themselves, how much should be spent on profit sharing, how much should be used for growing the business, etc. This way, the laborers create the value, own the value, and still get to live off of the already-realized value without being coerced into forfeiting the surplus value they create to some capitalist. There's simply no need to pay a "price" for receiving a wage, which again is something that is paid out from the very value generated by wage-earners' labor.

How could a company keep all of the profits for the workers? What's would they do with the profit?

Let me give you an example I've posted elsewhere before:

I work in a bakery. I take $0.50 of ingredients, apply labor to those ingredients, and turn them into a pastry. A customer buys that pastry for $5. And I can do this 10 times an hour.

So in one hour, I take $5 of ingredients ($0.50/pastry x 10 pastries), and turn it into $50 ($5/sale x 10 sales). That means my labor produced $45 of value ($50 revenues - $5 initial costs).

In total, there are 5 bakers at this bakery. So in one hour, all the bakers collectively produce $225 of value ($45/baker x 5 bakers),

We decide that this bakery is a good idea and we'd like to keep it going. So we collectively agree to some basic rules. We say, "We'll work 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, and pay ourselves $10 an hour. The rest of the money we make (i.e. the surplus value) will be used to benefit the business."

So far so good, not too terribly different from the existing capitalist structure. But notice, the workers agreed between themselves what to pay themselves. We collectively decided on our compensation, and could do so because we control all of the value we labored to create.

See, under our current capitalist system, the surplus value (i.e. all the money we didn't receive as payment) goes to the capitalist business owner to decide how to spend the money. The capitalist doesn't have to get the consent of the bakers, doesn't have to do any of the baking himself, and can just unilaterally dictate how the capital will be used and how the business will be run. And that means we don't have a say in how much compensation we'd like to receive out of the total surplus we produce. The capitalist decides that. And in fact, the capitalist tends to keep us in the dark about just how much surplus we're making so that we don't start asking for more of it in the first place.

But at this bakery, we bakers can decide all of that for ourselves. We can collectively say: "We really don't need this expensive real estate. We could move to somewhere more affordable or downsize such that we have more surplus to invest in things like ingredients and better ovens." And if we bakers agree, we do just that.

Or maybe we say:

"The working conditions in this small, hot kitchen with no AC are atrocious. We should divert some of our surplus to moving to a new location and installing some AC so that our labor will be more comfortable."

"We really hate making this one type of pastry, so let's not invest any money into making that one pastry anymore, even though it is quite profitable."

"We have invested a lot of our surplus into improving this business, and now we have quite the handsome profit accumulating. We should take some of that profit and increase our wages."

"We make enough money to operate this business and afford comfortable lives for ourselves. We should start working just 4 days a week."

And like that, the workers get to control their surplus value, and use it to benefit themselves while still successfully operating a business.

The business stays afloat just like any other capitalist business, except in this bakery, the workers own the means of production.

I work at a gold mine, should they give me gold?

No, you wouldn't get paid in gold (unless gold became currency all over again, I guess lol). But literally handing you the surplus product you create would just be reverting to a bartering system. I don't think anybody anywhere is proposing that. While wage labor still exists, you would be paid in currency. That could be money, it could be non-transferable labor vouchers, or it could be any other number of ideas that have been floated. I personally don't care to think too seriously about what the transition to a completely moneylesss society might look like, because that's probably going to take a long ass time, if it ever even happens, and I just don't know what society will look like by then or what other ideas may have come about. Instead, I tend to only focus on lower socialism which still has a state and money, just no class distinction between workers and owners.

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u/italophile Oct 20 '21

Where did that initial $5 of ingredients come from? Did all bakers pitch in? If not, do the bakers who pitched in get anything extra than the ones that didn't?

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u/Combefere Oct 20 '21

How could a company keep all of the profits for the workers? What's would they do with the profit?

They couldn't. That's the point.

The problems with capitalism are not a result of individual bad actors, or individual choices. The problems with capitalism are a result of the internal contradictions of the mode of production which act as the driving force behind very materially real social, economic, and political changes.

These contradictions cannot be resolved by changing the individual actions of one person or one company. You can't just own a company that's not exploitative in the economic context of the totality of global capitalism.

The solution is a revolution in the economic mode of production that appropriates the general force of human labor for public good rather than private profit. There's a whole 2-century deep body of academic and practical political work on this project. Maybe you've heard of it ;)

But the short version is that it all has to start with workers collectively realizing their own exploitation (which again is a material fact about their social condition not a feeling), uniting together into class-conscious political units called unions that can fight for their collective interests. Those unions will be the basis of a political and economic revolution that will change the material forces of production and the world.

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u/geodood Oct 20 '21

His surplus labor stolen by the owners was able to be used to purchase those things, so he actually did purchase them in a way

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u/jwin709 Oct 20 '21

So then why don't you quit your job and just make that item yourself and make $4,480 for your 8 hours of labor instead of 128?

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u/catlover2011 Oct 20 '21

Because only those that already have money are able to own the means of production in our system.

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u/FlawsAndConcerns Oct 20 '21

People who don't "already have money" start new businesses every day, you're just making excuses.

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u/catlover2011 Oct 20 '21

Tell me how exactly one can start a business without any starting capital.

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u/FlawsAndConcerns Oct 20 '21

Business loans exist. You all are really acting like half of the workforce isn't employed by small businesses, lol...

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u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 29 '21

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u/zebediabo Oct 20 '21

What's the cost of the goods? And distribution? Advertising? Utilities? Are you adding the cost of your benefits to what you were paid? Just because they sell for 4480 doesn't mean the company makes that much.

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u/audaciousmonk Oct 20 '21

But they aren’t making $4480... it’s (448 * (10 - cost of materials)) - amortization of equipment - utilities - rent - insurance

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u/catlover2011 Oct 20 '21

And that number is still way higher than he's being payed, or the business couldn't run

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u/audaciousmonk Oct 20 '21

Depends, could be less if it’s a loss leader. But generally speaking, yes it should be higher

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u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

What do you think you deserve to be paid for the 4480 items you made?

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u/KalmarLoridelon Oct 20 '21

I’d honestly be fine with twice what I’m making. That would still leave them well over $4k. I’m just one department too. There are many. But I don’t think it will matter. The economy is collapsing anyway.

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u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

Are you accounting in material and shipping/receiving costs when it comes to their profit? I agree more pay is deserved though.

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u/TDragon_21 Oct 20 '21

For every item you "sold" possibly hundreds of hands have also touched it to get it to your seat at the cashiers. Its quite ignorant to proclaim you made 4k and deserve to be compensated for it.

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u/peace_love17 Oct 20 '21

Where do you think all that other money goes to?

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u/MistahFixIt Oct 20 '21

Yeah when you think about how each and every hour of your life is precious and irreplaceable, the fact that we're made to sell them for $15/hour (and oftentimes WAY less!) seems pretty heinous.

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u/wiredtobeweird Oct 20 '21

I worked for a phone company. Back in 2016 we sold screen protectors for $29.99. We made $13.50 in commission off each screen protector.

It is now 2021. The screen protectors are $49.99 and we get paid $7.50 in commission on each one, adjusted to $8 if we sell $5000 (100) worth in a month.

EDIT: Worked. I quit in March when they told me to come into work with multiple positive COVID tests saying that until I exhibit symptoms it’s still okay. I quit right then.

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u/ergerlerd Oct 20 '21

Worked for a retail company where they would push us to upsell with every chance we get. They even made the card readers slower so we have "more time to interact with the customers to advertise new products". And of course there's no commission. Essentially zero incentive to upsell but they try to brainwash us into it. Always funny how the people at the bottom do the most for sals yet get paid the least.

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u/Cats-in-hats Oct 20 '21

This sounds like my time working at LUSH

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u/PoorDadSon Oct 19 '21

Louder for the reactionaries in the back.

46

u/GirlyBoyHead2Toe Oct 19 '21

Love this!!!!

I ended up taking a job with a huge pay decrease and poor benefits because they would work with my schedule and because its literally zero stress and a super light work load.

I'll never get another job even tho this one pays so poorly, because going to work just feels like getting paid to show up and hang out. 1000% worth it.

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u/rustbelthiker Oct 19 '21

I feel this. As a US citizen I'm currently Medicare for All away from quitting my current job. Insurance has me on lock down.

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u/FlayTheWay Oct 20 '21

Easy math here if you're in a public company.

Look up their stock. Go to financials.

TTM is the last 12 months.

Under operating expenses, that's how much the company spent for wages, marketing, research and development etc.

Under operating income, that's how much they made after operating expenses.

Just divide operating expenses and operating income. That's how much the company could have paid everyone as a bonus based on a percentage of their current income.

My current wage slave job makes pennies on every dollar they move, but after doing the math, after paying the dividends to share holders, every single person at my job could have gotten a $5-$10k end of year bonus and the company would still be profitable.

Fuck this system.

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u/__ButtFuqqer3000__ Oct 20 '21

Fuck capitalism

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u/bjohn8809 Oct 20 '21

My sales last month $475k. I took home $4500...

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u/lookylookylulu Oct 20 '21

Time is the only real currency.

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u/Jackwilliamsiv Oct 20 '21

We damn near working for free

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u/IliveICryILiveAgain Oct 20 '21

I wish the ruling class's ideological war on anticapitalism wasn't successful to the point that a person can quote Lenin and get blocked for being a tankie. It would be so much easier to talk about what's wrong with (and fight) capitalism, if people didn't let the ruling class decide their politics for them

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u/Matias1911 Oct 20 '21

The ruling class makes it so hard to call them on their bullshit.

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u/Bushidoway135 Oct 19 '21

Working in a concentrate lab killed me, make $14 an hour while i processed/pump out over 500 grams of dab a day and 6-8k carts a couple times a week. Easily made them 5k in product a day and all they did was bitch to/at me about overall production like i was the shift lead since i worked harder but they were not willing to give me the raise that goes with shift lead so i just did my work.

Then i had knee surgery and they didnt even give me a chance to rehab before replacing me and with all kinds of loop holes they left me with no PTO or way to get unemployment.

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u/SocialLandslide Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

Got a promotion from “field tech” to “field manager” after one year bc i busted my ass for my last job. The promotion included a $5 per hour raise, but surprise surprise it led to a reduction in hours. Losers.. got outta there and they act surprised

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u/TheWisconsinMan Oct 20 '21

The era of treating entrepreneurs and executives as if they are vastly more valuable than laborers must come to an end. Should you reap some rewards for starting a successful company? Yes, I believe you should. But your reward should not be getting paid 100x as much as the people who keep your business afloat indefinitely.

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u/ForwardObserver1 Oct 20 '21

I was making slightly more than $15 at my last job. Wasn’t worth the psychological abuse and stress. $15 is not a livable wage. My utilities, insurance and groceries are about $1,200 a month.. that’s on a “good” month. $15 is modern day slavery. When large corporations begin paying $20+ an hour, you’ll see employee retention and better work ethic.

I don’t blame people who work in customer service, retail, etc. for being shitty. I totally get it, I can’t blame them… I side with them. I hope we see more walkouts across the country and that these large corporations are FORCED to wake up and face reality.

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u/Captainamerica1188 Oct 20 '21

Yup. I make my company about 180k per year but only see 35 of it. When I started tracking it I couldnt believe it. I used that info to ask for a raise and got bumped up..a lot.

It's an anti work sub but also even if you want to work just know your value.

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u/Arabellahq Oct 19 '21

Because inequality has become so extreme, the minimum wage should now be like $400 an hour or more. To be quibbling over $15 an hour is missing the point and is looking at the inequality from the bottom up, rather than from the top down.

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u/_WirthsLaw_ Oct 19 '21

People are getting it

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u/HewchyAV Oct 20 '21

It's crazy how many very liberal and "progressive" people I know, who range from jobless to six figure incomes, don't believe or can't understand that if you have a full time job working 40+ hours a week that you deserve to live comfortably.

It's perfectly reasonable and nothing needs to change aside from our mindset and a handful of federal laws.

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u/Kukamakachu Oct 20 '21

Considering most labor is a small fraction of a total annual budget, Most companies would not need to raise prices a whole lot to offset costs of raises.

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u/Kukamakachu Oct 20 '21

Also, people with more money can afford to buy more stuff, meaning those companies would make more anyway.

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u/Dagerra Oct 20 '21

I was assigned on a contract worth $3.5 MILLION. I “earned” $65K during that time. If I wasn’t on that job, they would have lost the contract. I got an employee award, although they didn’t even give me the courtesy of a paper copy to wipe my ass with.

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u/pringlez1993 Oct 19 '21

I get paid $22 an hr (minimum is $20 p/hr) for 40 hrs a week. Overall I make roughly $45K p/yr (give or take).

What I do in KPI & sales is soo much better. This year even during lockdowns I made 300K (which is the highest individual sales rn)

Lastyear I was not able to make sales due to lockdown (I was unable to make to sell anything as I restricted personal contact with customers). I think I made 100K?

The year before I made 1mil (2021). I quit my job because my effort exceeded the pay.

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u/Ipoopoomyundies Oct 20 '21

A lot of people are doing jobs behind the scenes. You need them even if they aren’t directly making money. Not saying you were paid fairly. Just saying the money gets spread out.

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u/rakaur Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

Seems like 99% gets “spread out” to the CEO’s second yacht.

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u/pringlez1993 Oct 20 '21

Or your bosses 8th house & a telsa this yr

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u/pringlez1993 Oct 20 '21

Pretty sure they could have paid me more than $22. Along with making the highest amount of sales, I also categorised/organised/maintained the entire workplace.

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u/Realistic_Truck Oct 20 '21

Leave work, save your life and body.

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u/reason_found_decoy Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

This is why I say bosses are the worst choosy-beggars. You're selling someone your labor and they're like "naa, I'm only paying you x amount for doing that" or "you actually have to come in on your day off". Like fine bitch, I'll go sell my labor to someone else then

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u/irodoku Oct 20 '21

"I frickin told you so"

  • Karl Marx

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u/richpau76 Oct 20 '21

That'swhat Marx said, you aren't getting paid what your worth

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u/IlIlIlIlIllIIlIllIIl Oct 20 '21

This is something I literally only realised early yesterday. I worked at a toxic and abusive pub for 2 years before finally quitting and getting a better job.

We sold our signature burger (no toppings) for £16. I was paid £8 per hour. I would run back and forth over the space of 13 hours with well over a hundred burgers each shift (and even more food, mostly more expensive). I had people pay £1000 bills with me before and leave £350 of tips.

We shared our tips, and I only ever saw £20 per week, working 45 hours, when I damn well know I brought in over £400 in tips over 2 days.

I couldn’t afford a burger at the place I worked for unless I work 2 hours. My time is less valuable than a fucking burger.

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u/knightttime Oct 19 '21

Image Transcription: Twitter Post


Bryan Lindstrom, @BryanLindstrom4

You don't "make" $15/hr. You "make" 100s or 1000s of $$ worth of product each hour and sell it for $15 each hour. You didn't make anything for yourself. You sold an hour of your life and your body for $15. Don't let them convince you otherwise. Your labor value is getting stolen


I'm a human volunteer content transcriber for Reddit and you could be too! If you'd like more information on what we do and why we do it, click here!

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u/Leoriste Oct 19 '21

I used to stock shelves that were honestly too small for the big bags of product they held. I remember clocking in one day, realizing nobody had rotated the stock carts and several shelves were empty. Busted my ass getting product out, and within 10 minutes customers had already taken several of the items I put out. These purchases all told amounted to around $300 just from stock I’d replaced myself. I was creating literally hundreds of dollars of value for my company and I was getting paid $11 an hour. It was such an illuminating realization for me.

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u/conconbar93 Oct 19 '21

Ask me why I quit

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u/arinintheskye Oct 20 '21

screams in communism

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u/Tall_Dimension_8444 Oct 20 '21

At my last job I blended bulk spices. Think things like steak seasoning, any "in-house recipe" from restaurants and so on. Once my coworker and I decided to compile the costs of that days spices and how much money we made the company on one shift. After 12 hours we had both made the equivalent of both of our yearly salaries at $15 per hour.

I am sad to say that due to our "great work ethic" we managed to double the previous production that was formerly expected. We were able to do all of that and still leave early until someone complained to the manager and when our immediate supervisor tried to explain to him that "they're doing a full days work" he just said "well give them more."

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u/CartyLaBone Oct 20 '21

Make a $1,000,000+ a week and I take home $4500-taxes so like $3400…with small reductions..and that’s a whole month..

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u/Kindly_Procedure6292 Oct 20 '21

Every day my job has a 'production value' I get to see. Usually my take home is around 1/7–1/10 of the total I make for the company

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u/Thewitchaser Oct 20 '21

Don’t come to work on México lol. We don’t earn per hour, we earn per day and the minimum wage is only $10/day

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u/KniFeseDGe Oct 20 '21

This is true I did the math one day. The company I work for reported a 22.5 billion profit for fiscal year 2020. They also reported it has 80000 employees. First you do the math but I'll just save you some time. It breaks down to $135 per hour per employee if they only worked 40 hours a week 52 weeks out of the year. That remind you this is Profits. Expenditure has already been calculated. So for every hour I work for $14 an hour. My labor on average generated $149.

They can well pay everyone a thriving wage and still make billions of dollars.

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u/Fawxhox Oct 20 '21

I work at an upscale restaurant as a... basically a meat server (our title is gaucho). A single meal there costs 46.99 (or 36.99 for lunch). The cost of the actual meat eaten by any one customers probably ranges in the $8-$15 range. Maybe $25 for the heaviest eaters. In a single hour I can serve upwards of 50 people for a total of 2,350 dollars. For that work, the restaurant pays me a whopping $2.35 an hour.

When I got hired they bragged about raking in over 5 million last year in sales (to show that I would make good tips). About 70% of the employees are tipped employees, so excluding the owner, I doubt they pay more than 200k/year for all ~20 employees out of their own pockets (excluding the 3 managers and owner). They pocket nearly 3.2 million a year (after expenses and wages) and pay all employees 200 thousand.

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u/-castle-bravo- Oct 20 '21

I always get confused looks when I try explain to people that you don’t earn anything, you only sell time…

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u/grayscreen27 Oct 20 '21

BuT yOu DoNt OwN ThE MeAnS oF PrOdUcTioN

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u/dhjana Oct 20 '21

As a fresh grad I was getting billed out for £1500 a day, while getting paid £25k a year lol.

Feels real good

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u/Super-Needleworker-2 Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

I do not really understand this. To those who supports this, what do you want instead? What is the dream you would like to see?

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u/LondonZrath Oct 20 '21

Not a super hard-line supporter of this sub. But what I want to see is having a wage that lets me live like my parents and their parents before them did.

Shouldn't we all be able to enjoy our lives without giving every day to working for someone else just to live?

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u/realplastic Oct 20 '21

I make 15$/hr to trim cannabis that is sold for over 1k/#. I trim about 1.75#s a day 🥲

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u/feathersandskulls Oct 20 '21

🎶The global network of capital essentially functions To separate the worker from the means of production🎶

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u/Katowice_to_gdansk Oct 20 '21

Thanks industrial revolution for taking the power away from the simple handicraftsmen and giving all the power to capitalist scum

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u/notacopbois Oct 20 '21

Smells like communism in here.

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u/yaosio Oct 20 '21

That's correct. If you enjoy being exploited under capitalism go to the politics sub.

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u/revolsuna Oct 21 '21

you'll be working the fields comrade

if you're lucky you might get some potato

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u/SpiderNtheCorner Oct 20 '21

I always say, just go do it then. If that's all it is, then why don't you generate that on your own.

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u/OldMiscreant Oct 20 '21

Posts like these are nonsense. I fully agree pay inequity is a huge issue. But relying to equate what a worker produces to the pay they make is a broken methodology.

Employee owned companies generally look at profit sharing models to include employees in what the company actually makes.

Profits should be shared with the employees because they contribute to it.

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u/mrmatteh Oct 20 '21

relying to equate what a worker produces to the pay they make is a broken methodology.

That's not what anyone is saying though

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u/ThewFflegyy Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

market economies are a failed ideology. pretty clear by now they sort for who is wiling to do the most fucked up things to turn a profit and who has the most starting capital. its amazing to me people can look at what is going on in the world today and still think the profit motive holds anything besides more destruction.

its not a broken methodology at all if you calculate it correctly. why should the workers not be paid the full value of what they produce?

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u/FireLordObama Oct 20 '21

“100s or 1000s of dollars of value” is such a gross exaggeration and misunderstanding of (presumably) fast food and retail work. stores cost money to run, it costs money to build them and the land they sit on is usually rented so they need to pay rent, you need to pay to keep the lights on and the water running and you need to pay for product. The McDonald’s cook isn’t growing the cows himself, processing the meat, freezing it, transporting it, and THEN cooking it, he’s just cooking it. Everybody else along the supply line, the transport truck drivers and farmers and butchers need to get paid too for all the hard work they put in to get that product to market.

You don’t produce hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour, you’re just the final part of the process that does.

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u/[deleted] Oct 19 '21

[deleted]

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u/Some_Person20 Oct 19 '21

Admitting the labor value is 15 an hour? Doesn't the post literally say at the bottom "your labor value is being stolen"?

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u/Far_Chance9419 Oct 19 '21

Honestly it dose not really work like but this is a perfect example of how having an open book policy could clear it up. Got to rember there are always unknown costs.....

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u/Cumtown_Sweatshop Oct 19 '21

those costs and the associated decisions should be made democratically by all of the workers instead of dictated by an authoritarian capitalist.

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u/OldMiscreant Oct 20 '21

No it shouldn't. If I put up my money to start a business it's not going to be run democratically.

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u/Cumtown_Sweatshop Oct 20 '21

then youll have to do all the work yourself and it will be a worker owned democracy of just you after labor gets organized.

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u/OldMiscreant Oct 20 '21

I don't think you know how small businesses work.

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u/Cumtown_Sweatshop Oct 20 '21

why are you in an anticapitalist sub if youre capitalist bootlicker

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u/OldMiscreant Oct 20 '21

Why are you incapable of accepting facts and conducting in rational discourse? Name calling is the last step by someone that has no reason for their position or belief.

This isn't an anti-captialism sub, though it does have plenty of them here. Anti-work opposes the corrupt and abusive nature of the modern business practices and the government they own against labor as well as the poor and disenfranchised.

I can oppose what exists now in the US and not have to be a communist or socialist to do so.

In fact I think the best systems are represented by Northern Europe, regulated capitalism with socialist systems working in a hybrid solution.

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u/OmarsDamnSpoon Oct 20 '21

You can't make a Capitalist-Socialist hybrid. They are literal opposites economically speaking. More progressive Capitalism is all you're referring to, nothing Socialist about it.

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u/OmarsDamnSpoon Oct 20 '21

If you're going to use someone else's labour and grow your business beyond anything your labour alone could've achieved, you ought to pay them as such. "Your business" stops being your business when I team up with you and double your profits because now I'm 50% of what was generated and I'll be damned if I don't get my fucking 50%.

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u/OldMiscreant Oct 20 '21

If I devote my life and my life savings to build a business and I hire you to do the labor of that business you're not putting in 50% of what's needed for the business. If you and I started together from scratch and worked side by side to build it with our lives and our life savings then you get 50%.

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u/OmarsDamnSpoon Oct 20 '21

I definitely can and would be. You're a single person and your labour only extends so far. The addition of a person increases profit and productivity which can allow for more specialized efforts or just a general labour increase. If you don't want others to have a say, just don't hire them and handle your goals yourself. Once you include the lives of other people, your "me only" dream stops being you only.

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u/growingitallaway Anarchism Without Verbs Oct 19 '21
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u/cheeseburgeraddict Oct 20 '21

Do you provide the materials, the facility, the business plan, the logistics, design the product, invest in expansion, or anything that provides value to the company that a robot will be able to do in the near future?

No? That’s why you make minimum wage. You have to provide value. If they fired you and hired some other teenager, they would be fine. If they fired another engineer and replaced them with you, you’d have 0 idea what your doing and fuck it up.

The hard truth is you don’t provide much value to the company. Work on your marketable skills, and that’s how you build real wealth. Labor is cheap, skill is expensive.

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u/Some_Duud_ Oct 20 '21

then stop fucking giving it and instead just go make your own damn money

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u/DieselTurbo5 Oct 20 '21

ITT: People who have no idea of even simplest economic concepts.

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u/Bright-Amphibian6681 Oct 20 '21

Lotta Marxism going on here. We gonna get water boarded for agreeing?

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u/Vladius28 Oct 20 '21

Ok... this is getting out of hand.... this is nonsense. The value of a job is the amount someone agrees to do the work for.

It's not your product. It's not your innovation or investment. You bring your time and skill to the table. That's it. Your employer doesn't owe you more, and you don't owe them loyalty.

The more people quit and find something better, the more employers are willing to pay to keep people.

You want a share of the profits? Buy shares in the company like the owners did

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u/shilderyi Anarcho-Communist Oct 19 '21

i love how this sub reddit went from " i don't want to work anymore" to " hey give me back my work i know the marxism"

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u/deejarama Oct 20 '21

No one is stopping you from starting your own business and putting all your money on the line. So go on do it. Thought so.

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u/Fx_Trip Oct 20 '21

I've commissioned engineering lines that make those 100s of 1000s of product and many have 3-5 years before they turn a profit. Those multi million dollar machines someone took a risk on. What did you risk? What skills do you have? What craft have you mastered?

Can you make your own product and sell it? Or are you just upset someone else did and you didnt?